Some Predictions of the StoryAlity Theory
Given the ongoing Doctoral study of patterns in The Top 20 Return On Investment (RoI) Feature Films:
Here are some current predictions of the StoryAlity Theory:
Prediction # 1 – A Top 20 RoI Feature Film is predicted – due to emerge – from the international feature film system, in: January 2014.
To check this scientific prediction – watch this space, in January 2014: i.e.: The Top 20 RoI Films List.
(i.e. – Watch the third list from the bottom, namely – the list of the Top 20: Most Profitable Movies, Based on Return on Investment)
According to the figures – i.e.: the laws of probability – (since R-squared in the chart, below is: 0.96) – there is a 96% chance of it happening then. (January 2014). Of course – there is also, a 4% (a 4 in 100) chance, that: it won’t. That’s Probability for you. By the way if probability interests you – I highly recommend the book: Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Taleb 2005).
At any rate, to enter the top 20 list, and therefore be visible in the Top 20 RoI chart at The-Numbers.com, a film needs to make around 85 times its production budget (i.e.: over around 8500% RoI). Though since I only examine the Top 20 RoI Films of the past 70 years (which effectively means that: a film from 1968 is the first Top 20 RoI Film in the StoryAlity Top 20 RoI Films data set), a film actually only needs to make over 7500% RoI (i.e.: around 75 times its production budget.)
So – this scientific prediction of StoryAlity Theory (about the January 2014 Top 20 RoI Film) is made possible, because: when we examine the data – a Top 20 RoI Film enters the Top 20 RoI List, every 2.05 years on average:
For more background detail on all this, see also: Patterns In The Top 20 ROI (Return On Investment) Films: On Frequency
Note also that the system is self-correcting: a 10-year gap in Top 20 RoI films occurred from 1983-1993, but then, 4 films emerged all at once, in 2004, then the system returned to: a new film emerging every 2.05 years on average. This is known as a `market correction’.
The most recent Top 20 RoI Film was in January 2012 (i.e.: the film The Devil Inside, 2012).
For more background detail on that, see: Scientific And Empirical Proof That The Storyality™ Theory Works: `The Devil Inside’ (2012)
ON THE PREDICTED FILM’S SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS
The expected January 2014 feature film’s probable characteristics are precisely as follows:
The most likely candidate – is a film with all the following characteristics:
Regarding the film’s Genre – here are the current probabilities:
For more on all of this, see:
StoryAlity Film Theory is the result of a study of the Top 20 RoI (Return on Investment) Feature Films:
StoryAlity Theory uses The Scientific Method, which results in a series of probabilities:
StoryAlity Theory is the result of a deep scientific analysis of over 30 common characteristics of the Top 20 RoI Films (i.e. the most viral films), including characteristics such as: Film Duration and Number of Scenes – which also enables future trend predictions:
For more detail on the 29 other characteristics analyzed, see:
And for more detail in general, see the StoryAlity Theory book – which is: a Screenwriting and Filmmaking Manual. Importantly – it is very different from all other 2500 screenwriting books: it actually uses Science.
With regards to Science:
In 1934 Austrian-British philosopher of science Karl Popper published The Logic of Scientific Discovery in German, and later published an English version in 1959. Key ideas advanced in the work include that the scientific method only works by empirical falsifiability, rather than inductivism/observationalism, because no amount of experimental tests can prove (they can merely corroborate) a theory, and yet one single test can contradict (falsify) it. Regarding ontology, or “What is real?” Popper states:
`Science is merely an attempt to classify and describe… perceptual knowledge… immediate experiences whose truth we cannot doubt; it is the systematic presentation of our immediate convictions.’ (Popper 1990, p. 94)
On the empirical method, Popper states:
`According to my proposal, what characterizes the empirical method is its manner of exposing to falsification, in every conceivable way, the system to be tested. Its aim is not to save the lives of untenable systems, but on the contrary, to select the one which is by comparison the fittest, by exposing them all to the fiercest struggle for survival.’ (Popper 1990, p. 42 – emphasis mine)
This is itself a Darwinist approach to knowledge, although ironically – originally, Popper felt that natural selection was not falsifiable, and therefore, metaphysical, although in 1978 he later clearly recanted about this. (Popper 1978)
Regarding epistemology, Popper states:
`In my view, what epistemology has to ask is…: How do we test scientific statements by their deductive consequences? …How can we best criticize our theories (our hypotheses, our guesses), rather than defending them against doubt? Of course, testing was always, in my view, part of criticizing.’ (Popper 1990, p. 98)
Popper later further developed his ideas on the way scientific knowledge grows (Popper 1963) and notably, also published on free will (Popper 1979). His work influenced his student, the philosopher of science, Imre Lakatos.
In 1962, the historian, philosopher and sociologist of science Thomas Kuhn published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in which he examined the scientific method and scientific revolutions through history, and presented ideas on how science typically and characteristically progresses including the notion of pre-paradigm states, normal science, revolutionary science, and `paradigm changes’. Kuhn states:
`These three classes of problems – determination of significant fact, matching of facts with theory, and articulation of theory – exhaust, I think, the literature of normal science, both empirical and theoretical.’ (Kuhn & Hacking 2012, p. 34)
Kuhn also outlines a remarkably-clear list of criteria that should enable anyone to distinguish between an earlier (older, archaic, abandoned) and – a more recent (newer, better, more accurate) theory:
`Among the most useful would be: accuracy of prediction, particularly of quantitative prediction; the balance between esoteric and everyday subject matter; and the number of different problems solved. Less useful for this purpose, though also important determinants of scientific life, would be such values as simplicity, scope, and compatibility with other specialties… A scientific theory is usually felt to be better than its predecessors not only in the sense that it is a better instrument for discovering and solving puzzles but also because it is somehow a better representation of what nature is really like.’ (Kuhn & Hacking 2012, p. 205)
In 1984 Austrian-born philosopher and sociologist of science Paul Feyerabend published Against Method in which, rejecting both Popper and Kuhn, he advanced an anarchistic view of science:
`The idea that science can and should, be run according to fixed and universal rules, is both unrealistic and pernicious… Naïve falsificationism takes it for granted that the laws of nature are manifest and not hidden beneath disturbances of considerable magnitude. Empiricism takes it for granted that sense experience is a better mirror for the world than pure thought. Praise of argument takes it for granted that the artifices of Reason give better results than the unchecked play of our emotions. Such assumptions may be perfectly plausible and even true. Still, one should occasionally put them to a test… Case studies such as those reported in the preceding chapters show that such tests occur all the time, and that they speak against the universal validity of any rule. All methodologies have their limitations and the only “rule” that survives is “anything goes”.’ (Feyerabend 1984, pp. 295-6)
In 2000, Australian metascientist Alan Chalmers published What Is This Thing Called Science? in which he summarizes and compares the findings of various prior metascientists including Kuhn, Popper, Lakatos, Feyerabend and others, stating:
`Three components of the stand on the facts assumed to be the basis of science in the common view can be distinguished. They are: (a) Facts are directly given to careful, unprejudiced observers via the senses. (b) Facts are prior to and independent of theory (c) Facts constitute a firm and reliable foundation for scientific knowledge.’ (Chalmers 2000, pp. 3-4)
Chalmers also adeptly summarizes Kuhn as follows:
`Kuhn’s picture of the way a science progresses can be summarized by the following open-ended scheme:
pre-science – normal science – crisis – revolution – new normal science – new crisis
The disorganized and diverse activity that precedes the formation of a science eventually becomes structured and directed when a single paradigm becomes adhered to by a scientific community. A paradigm is made up of the general theoretical assumptions and laws and the techniques for their application that the members of a particular scientific community adopt… A mature science is governed by a single paradigm. The paradigm sets the standards for legitimate work within the science it governs.’ (Chalmers 2000, p. 108)
In What Is This Thing Called Science? (2000) Chalmers states:
`Early work in a research program is portrayed as taking place without heed or in spite of apparent falsifications by evidence. A research program must be given a chance to realize its full potential…
When a program has been developed to the stage where it is appropriate to subject it to experimental tests, it is confirmations rather than falsifications that are of paramount significance, according to Lakatos.
The worth of a research program is indicated by the extent to which it leads to novel predictions that are confirmed. (Chalmers 2000, p. 135 – emphasis mine)
On paradigm shifts, Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (2012) notes on three separate occasions that all new paradigms are initially resisted:
(1) `For the far smaller professional group affected by them, Maxwell’s equations were as revolutionary as Einstein’s, and they were resisted accordingly.’ (Kuhn & Hacking 2012, p. 7)
(2) `Max Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography sadly remarked that “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”’ (Kuhn & Hacking 2012, p. 150)
(3) `Gradually the number of experiments, instruments, articles and books based upon the paradigm will multiply. Still more men, convinced of the new view’s fruitfulness, will adopt the new mode of practising normal science, until at last only a few elderly hold-outs remain.’ (Kuhn & Hacking 2012, p. 158)
The situation with StoryAlity Theory is doubly difficult, as not only is it a new scientific paradigm, it is consilient (see: EO Wilson, Consilience, 1998), and – many in the Arts are fiercely resistant to the idea of using Science in the Arts.
They really need to read Creativity (1996) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Great Flicks (2011) by DK Simonton, and Consilience (1998) by EO Wilson. Until they do that – they won’t understand why using Science in the Arts is so important. (i.e. It actually uses facts and scientific results, not merely opinions.)
It should be noted: the only reason a film goes so viral it enters the Top 20 RoI is – the Film Story:
Thanks for reading!
And – again, for the scientific prediction, in January 2014 (and – let’s see how Bayes’ Theorem applies) – watch this space, at The-Numbers.com, in January 2014: i.e.: click the link, for: The Current Top 20 RoI Films.
Comments, always welcome.
High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher
The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky
JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/
* Data courtesy of Nash Information Services, LLC (www.the-numbers.com). See: http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/records/budgets.php (Most Profitable Movies, Based on Return on Investment)
 Popper states: `I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. My recantation may, I hope, contribute a little to the understanding of the status of natural selection.’ (Popper 1978)